In its opinion, the EESC welcomes the very concrete Action Plan for the next five years to support national customs authorities. Once implemented, with regular impact assessments, it will lead to real modernisation of customs across the EU.
Customs Programme - Related Opinions
In its opinion, the EESC points out that implementing the single window environment for customs will take trade in goods into the new digital age through simplification and automation. Trade generally in the EU will grow, the Union will become more competitive, and customs will be modernised.
Europeans need more (and better) Europe. The powers and financial resources currently allocated to the EU have been increasingly misaligned with the concerns and expectations of Europeans. The EESC, in accordance with the European Parliament's position, therefore proposes that the expenditure and revenue figure reach 1.3% of GNI. The proposed level of commitments of 1.11% of the EU's GNI is too modest to credibly deliver on the political agenda of the EU.
The EESC recognises the high European added value of the programmes where the MFF 2021-2027 concentrates the main increases in expenditure. However, the Committee questions the fact that these increases are made at the cost of strong cuts in cohesion policy (-10%) and the Common Agricultural Policy – CAP (-15%).
The EESC supports the proposed regulatory framework, comprising: amendments to the technical standards and rules of the Union Customs Code (UCC); corrections of technical errors and omissions, aligning the code with the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA); and the inclusion of the municipality of Campione d'Italia and the Italian waters of Lake Lugano in the EU customs territory, as requested by the Member State concerned. With regard to the inclusion of "territorial enclaves", the EESC recommends paying particular attention to making the necessary amendments at the same time to Directive 2008/118/EC (Excise duties) and Directive 2006/112/EC (the VAT Directive).
The EESC agrees with the Commission's proposal to develop the governance of the customs union, but believes that establishing it in a comprehensive way requires multilevel reform and resolute action on the technical front. It also considers that a switch to automated central clearance is needed.